CHINA – China will be intensifying international cooperation with other countries to jointly enhance global food security as well as continue to expand and diversify sources of food imports to balance its own food security.

In the white paper released by the State Council Information Office and titled “Food Security in China”, the government officials said that the country has also made significant improvement towards ensuring that the country becomes food secure.

Zhang Wufeng, head of the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, said at a press conference in Beijing that China’s current food security was “the best in history.”

Zhang noted that China has successfully fed nearly 20 percent of the world’s total population with just 9 percent of the world’s farmland and 6 percent of the world’s total freshwater resources.

According to the white paper, while China’s population accounts for nearly one fifth of the world’s total, its food production accounts for a quarter of the world’s total with per capita grain output in China currently standing at 470 kilograms.

China’s total grain output rose by nearly five times from 113 million tonnes to 658 million tonnes from between 1949 and 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. The country expects grain out to reach about 780 million tonnes in 2019.

Currently China supplies 95 percent of its own needs for grain, laying down a solid material foundation for maintaining national food security and promoting socioeconomic development.

As the country seeks to further invest in enhancing food security, it has outlined future goals including completing the construction of 66.67 million hectares of high quality farmland by 2020.

The world’s second largest economy said it will also adapt itself to the World Trade Organization rules, actively and steadily reforming its grain purchase and storage systems and pricing mechanisms.

The Asian country has also been intensifying international cooperation in food and agriculture and opening up its domestic food market, especially since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Last year, China imported about 116 million metric tons of grains, including 88 million metric tons of soybeans, more than nine times the amount in 1996.

China will actively participate in global and regional food security governance, explore new models for international food cooperation and conduct comprehensive and high-standard international food cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government recently confirmed that a tentative trade deal has been reached between China and the US with additional Chinese purchases of US agricultural products likely occuring later this year.

This was the first time that China has officially responded since US President Donald Trump announced a “substantial phase one deal” shortly following the conclusion of trade talks last week.